For fans of: Star Wars (duh), third person action games.
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Also available on: PlayStation 3, PC, Nintendo DS, Wii.
If we had to give it a numerical score: 7/10
In short: A much anticipated sequel (by me at least) to one of the best Star Wars games ever (my opinion only). Set seven months after the first game and around one year before the first Star Wars movie (‘A New Hope’), it focuses on the personal struggle of Starkiller – Darth Vader’s apprentice – who may or may not be a clone. So everything appears to be there for a great story…But why did it have to be such a short average story?
What I liked
- It’s Star Wars.
- Making Stormtroopers jump to their deaths with a Jedi Mind Trick.
- Dual Lightsabers.
- Graphics, voice acting and music.
Not so much
- Quick Time Events.
- Not the most convincing story in the universe.
Our boy, Starkiller, is not a happy chappy. Darth Vader is a bad ‘dad’ and Starkiller is all grown up and wants to get the girl. So, it’s an emo game then? Nope. As Starkiller, you escape from Kamino after a vision that shows Darth Vader betraying you (again). Your main quest is to find Juno Eclipse – the love interest – and maybe be of assistance to the Rebels and maybe even smite Darth Vader himself. Maybe.
Gameplay and Features
As with the first game, The Force Unleashed II (TFUII from now on), plays out in third person. A few new features have been added – Jedi Mind Tricks (“you are not meant to be here”…followed by the screams of a falling Stormtrooper…followed by me laughing hysterically) and Force Fury. There’s the rather wonderful dual Lightsabers, because two is ALWAYS better than one. Each Lightsaber can have a different crystal which grants special “abilities” – such as more health from kills.
Apparently there is “more variety with such features as puzzle solving”, but to be honest, I found the puzzle solving infinitely less varied than the first game. I found very little in the way of puzzle solving actually happening. I’d go as far as to say that there was more platform gameplay than puzzle solving, but then I say Jedi, you say, erm, Sith.
One of the features I wish every game in the world would remove from its gameplay is Quick Time Events (QTE’s when one wants to look cool). I hate them. Reminds me of the awful “interactive movies” that were all the rage on PC when the developers were trying to be “fresh”. At least TFUII has had the good decency to reduce the number since the first game, but maybe that is down to the length of the game…or lack of length.
Graphics and Sound
This is where the game really jumps miles ahead of its predecessor. It looks stunning. The sound is amazing. Every Star Wars sound cliché is there and accounted for. The false perspective summary at the start on a starry background. The droid voices. The Stormtrooper voices. Vader. Starkiller. Yoda. Everything is impeccable. The issue with the graphics is that the game didn’t have too many levels to make pretty. It still looks great.
The general attitude to the game (based on other reviews) is disappointment. “Not the sequel you’re looking for” said Joystiq. And yes, you will be disappointed. The game is short. The story is one of the weakest ever in Star Wars history (but still manages to grip you).
But (there’s always one)…if you loved the first one, imagine a tweaked version of that game. The feeling of being a powerful Jedi is fully conveyed, and isn’t that all any kid brought up on a diet of Luke, Vader, Wookies and Princess Leia ever wants?